Hong Kong leader says new US law, violence will harm economy

Hong Kong leader says new US law, violence will harm economy

The financial hub has been rocked by almost six months of increasingly violent unrest demanding greater autonomy, which Beijing has frequently blamed on foreign influence.

Hua said Monday that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, signed last week by President Donald Trump, was a "severe violation of worldwide law" and amounted to "serious interference in China's internal affairs".

Washington and Beijing have yet to ink a so-called "phase one" agreement announced in October, which had raised hopes of a de-escalation in their prolonged trade war.

She said Hong Kong will accept decisions taken by the central government in Beijing in retaliation for the US legislation, including a decision to bar USA military aircraft and ships from visiting the semi-autonomous territory.

The bill also says the U.S. should allow Hong Kong residents to obtain United States visas if they have been arrested for being part of non-violent protests.

"A protester wearing a mask depicting U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a 'march of gratitude" near the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Reports said almost 6,000 people in Hong Kong have been arrested since the beginning of the protests, which started in March. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous territory of China.

Trade tensions erupted after China retaliated against U.S. support for protesters in Hong Kong, putting investors in a sales atmosphere.

The USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the US navy's Seventh Fleet, at Changi Naval Base in Singapore, on May 9.

And in 2016, China blocked the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis, and its escort ships, amid a dispute over China's military presence in the South China Sea.

The move was a largely symbolic gesture, one with more diplomatic ramifications than military, United States officials told Insider.

An editorial from government mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing could take further measures if the USA "continues to escalate the provocation in Hong Kong".

ATLA on Monday said it found the situation "extremely worrying" after meeting with Hong Kong Airlines' senior management and requesting them to explain the company's finances.

"These organizations deserve to be sanctioned and must pay a price", Hua said.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam onhit back at the United States over its passing of a law aimed at protecting human rights in the city, which is in the grip of a six-month-old protest movement calling for more democracy and the protection of its traditional freedoms and autonomy.

She said: "There is a lot of evidence proving that these NGOs have supported anti-China forces to create chaos in Hong Kong, and encouraged them to engage in extreme violent criminal acts and "Hong Kong independence" separatist activities". "For many people, Hong Kong has become an unfamiliar place".

Human Rights Watch said it had received "no communications from the Chinese government" about what the sanctions mean.

The Chief Executive also criticized the American law for suggesting that the rights of Hong Kong residents were being violated and stressed that they enjoyed the freedom of the press, religious liberty and freedom of assembly.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong on Monday, several hundred people who work in advertising started a five-day strike Monday to show support for anti-government protests in the territory. Tourism, airline and retail sectors have been hit particularly hard, with retail sales down about 20%.

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